Six months after closure due to scourge of Ebola epidemic that killed thousands,the Liberian Government reopens public schools on Monday.
As the schools reopen in Monrovia, the Liberian capiotal, schools reopened Monday morning, students’ temperatures were being taken as they entered.
Ebola’s main symptom is a high fever, and only those who are sick can spread the deadly virus.
Deputy Education Minister, Remses Kumbuyah, said more than 5000 kits have been distributed to schools that included thermometers and chlorine for hand-washing.
He said schools are also to avoid overcrowding – keeping class sizes to around 50 instead of 100 or more.
That’s in an effort to keep students from touching and potentially spreading the virus.
However, rural schools have lagged behind and many were delaying reopening their doors.
As at 14 February 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) and respective governments have reported a total of 23,217 suspected cases and 9,353 deaths.
Although WHO believes that this substantially understates the magnitude of the outbreak.
This is the first Ebola outbreak to reach epidemic proportions; past outbreaks were brought under control within a few weeks.
Extreme poverty, a dysfunctional healthcare system, a mistrust of government officials after years of armed conflict, and the delay in responding to the outbreak for several months have all contributed to the failure to control the epidemic.
Other factors include local burial customs that include washing of the body after death, the spread to densely populated cities, and international indifference.
In Liberia, WHO statistics as at Feb. 16 showed that 3,900 deaths were recorded out of 9007 cases reported. The country recorded the highest severity of the cases out of nine countries.
United Kingdom, Senegal and Spain recorded one single case of ebola so far.